News

Friday 11th September 2020

If you are visiting this web-site for the first time, a very warm welcome; and for those of you who are 'old hands' welcome back! I hope you will enjoy having a look around.

Newish on this page is our latest arrangement - a medley of two Matt Redman co-compositions, You Alone Can Rescue and Mercy - John (Daniels) and I felt they worked well together we and hope you do too! Scroll down towards the bottom of this page and it is the fourth track. We hope very much you also like our other arrangements of some of our favourite well-known worship songs! Simply click on a title and listen.

The end of another working week, with some unseasonably warm weather on the cards. I always find autumn to be a particularly lovely time of year - the colours and smells of our countryside for example, and this year nature has had a real chance to flourish so we could be in for a treat! Yesterday I enjoyed a wonderful few hours at our local nature reserve down at Titchfield Haven. Having lived here for much of my life, and having supported the visitor centre (especially its delightful cafe!) this was the first time I had ever been inside the reserve! And what a treat we had in store. Covering a total area of 369 acres (according to the guidebook... we didn't walk all over it!!) there are seven hides and an amazing collection of birds and wildlife. Not being an avid bird-watcher it was nevertheless a joy to watch them all, and just soak in the peace and tranquility of the surroundings.

These past months have been extraordinary, haven't they, and I hope those of you who are reading this have not been suffering too much. There are so many implications to this pandemic, and as we are seeing it has the potential to raise its ugly head quite quickly. For the moment we have to continue to 'go with it', take all necessary precautions and look out for others. This last fortnight has been an important time for our schoolchildren as they returned to their classes - perhaps slightly anxiously.

My home church, St Peter's, is open for private prayer for four hours three days a week, and it is a pleasure to steward one of the sessions on a Tuesday; and there is a 9am service on Sundays limited to 30 people. My other church, Shoreline, has been putting out weekly online services as well as a Pause for Thought on Wednesdays, and is reconvening on Sunday, also with a restricted number of people; and I am very much looking forward to seeing people again and to playing (see below for a link). I am missing my Wednesday duties as Chaplains' Assistant at Queen Alexandra hospital in Portsmouth (understandably they had to be suspended, but I will not hesitate if the department should become overwhelmed and I am asked to go in) but for Talking News we have been recording at home over the past five months, with weekly recordings going out online.

During the lockdown period I was enjoying the 'peace' - little traffic, no aircraft, uncrowded pavements...! I also felt we were being kinder and more respectful towards each other - rather akin to the continental attitude where people tend to put others first. I hope that lessons may be learnt as we try and resume a 'normal' life - in whatever form.

John and I very much hope that our music may have brought many of you comfort and strength at these challenging and difficult times.

I would like to thank Tim Daykin, producer and presenter of the Sunday morning programme on Radio Solent, who after sixteen years has handed over the reins. I have had some delightful interviews with Tim, and outside of the studio in recent years we have enjoyed meeting up twice a year for a walk and a pub lunch - most recently a fabulous circular walk at Cheriton. In May of last year he was installed as a Non-Residentiary Canon at Salisbury Cathedral (I went to the very moving Evensong service) and has recently been elected as part of the Cathedral Chapter. He feels that the time is right to retire from his Sunday morning prog. I wish him well - I am pleased to say we will continue to meet up as usual!

I am taking time out from performing - though continuing to write, mainly for pleasure. I am very sad to have to say that the cruise company, Cruise and Maritime Voyages, has gone into administration - I gather it was a small company and obviously the pandemic has hit it hard. Sadly the postponed cruise rescheduled for next Easter will not now be going ahead.

I always value and enjoy too playing as part of the worship group at Shoreline Church, a community church is Stubbington, which celebrated its 20th anniversary last year and moved to a new venue, the Crofton Hall at Stubbington Community Centre, last year. More details at https://www.shorelinechristianchurch.com (type in your browser) where you can find links to the online church during this current crisis.

My music, and that with John, continues to touch many hearts - and is especially poignant at times of sadness and loss and for reconciliation purposes. Today commemorates the 19th anniversary of 9/11 and brings back memories of watching the events unfold on the tv and then going to the piano later in the afternoon to compose the simple piece just titled The Eleventh of September which we recorded on the album Wings of an Eagle. Please see other references to this track and album on other pages of this website. Our music seems to have a capacity to bring people together, and this ties in with a comment from one of the vergers at Peterborough Cathedral a couple of years ago that meant a lot to me. The cathedral is used to holding more formal lunchtime concerts during the summer months, but he said that some of them can be a bit highbrow and described my music as being 'inclusive rather than exclusive' - appealing to a wide range of tastes. I took what he said very much to heart and would hope that my music always serves to draw people in rather than turn them away.

And it is always heartening, and humbling too, for both John and I, to receive and read your correspondence. Thank you so much. I would like to share one of the messages with you and have put it on the Reviews page. It is from a lady who has heard me in Norwich Cathedral, and I am grateful for her kind permission to reproduce it, anonymously.

On the Radio page are some interviews which hopefully give an insight into my life and music. For more details on Blue Is the Sky go to http://rsmithcompany.moonfruit.com/#/blue-is-the-sky/4590394637 (you will need to type it in your browser).

I am increasingly being asked where our music is available. Apart from this web-site's Online Shop, and a number of internet sites, our CDs are on sale in a number of Christian bookshops around the country. All are available through Amazon and/or to download via a number of internet sites including iTunes and CD Baby. Simply go to one of these sites and type the title and/or our names in the Search box.

My Jesus, My Saviour
Endless Hallelujah
I Will Offer up my Life
You Alone/Mercy Medley

Happy listening!

Charles

Something Music Ltd